The problems highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic were numerous. But maybe, the most important one, was the fact that we were not prepared to deal with such an event. Therefore, scientists think that we must prepare ourselves better for the future. Their solution: pan-virus vaccines.
What has been done to protect ourselves better
There is no doubt that looking ahead is a wise idea. But first let’s look at the changes COVID-19 already brought to the health system and our protection. We have had to develop new technologies to protect ourselves better against viruses and infectious diseases. For example, Bioguard Protected items have appeared, to reduce the risk of contracting a virus, by touching a surface in public places. Masks, although not a new technology, have become a common staple in our daily lives. And it’s just the beginning of product developments that will help us to protect ourselves better.
There are also steps taken by governments around the world, to build a stronger health system. When the first wave of coronavirus hit, there weren’t enough ventilators in hospitals, to cater to people who needed to be placed on one. Now, countries have acquired more, which will be a safety net in case of future pulmonary diseases. There was additional staff added to hospitals, to face the crisis, and money is being spent on training future nurses and doctors. These actions are making our world safer, for everyone.
What needs to be done Now
According to scientists, the next step will be to be ready vaccine-wise, to face a new pandemic. Their solution: work on vaccines that use broadly neutralizing antibodies. That way, they can target a larger number of strains of viruses (including coronaviruses and influenza). This would protect a larger part of the world, from potentially dangerous viral strains, emerging in the future.
That’s because there has been an increase in pandemics over the last twenty years. Since it manifested itself mostly in Asia, not everyone has seen this happening. But the truth is, deforestation and intensive farming practices are raising the risks of pandemics to a higher level. The problem is that animals, who used to be kept away from humans, are now closer than ever. This increases the danger of zoonotic (viruses crossing between species).
It is now up to governments to act responsibly and prepare for the future. Otherwise, the hard times we are all going through could come back to haunt us rapidly and often. And this is certainly not something any one of us is hoping for.